Bonsai Repotting - Knowledgebase Question

Verona, NY
Avatar for vancon2
Question by vancon2
May 1, 1998
I am looking for information on repotting a 15 year old Chinese elm bonsai. It seems to be quite root bound, but I do not know how long it has been in its current pot. I've owned it for over a year. I would also like information on the type of soil that I should use to repot the tree.

Answer from NGA
May 1, 1998
Your Chinese elm should be transplanted every two years. Spring is the best time for each successive tranplanting. Use only a slightly larger pot each time; any container with drainage holes is OK. It should be pot-bound. That's part of why it's so small!

Always make up a fresh soil mixture and prune the roots fairly vigorously. Cut back the side roots irregularly and thin out the smaller roots to encourage the forming of a dense system.

Use an organic soil mix of 70 % loam, 20 % sand and 10 % leafmold. A dab of moss at the bottom works well to prevent clogging of the drainage hole!

Deciduous trees should be pinched back to 2-3 buds on the previous year's growth.

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